Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Richard Gallagher

Vatican Foreign Minister says Brexit “must be respected” but insists on “value” of united Europe

Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Richard Gallagher has warned that the British people’s vote for Brexit “must be respected”.

But the Church diplomat added that “it should also be remembered that a united Europe represents a value in itself”.

“After two world wars, with the economy destroyed, the construction of the European project brought us 70 years of peace and prosperity. And prosperity doesn’t come by itself”, Gallagher recalled.

Related:

Bishop of Derry: “Brexit is being led by English nationalism”

New Irish bishop says people worried hard Brexit border “could lead to violence”

Driving the news

Gallagher, a native of Liverpool, was speaking to the Italian news agency SIR on the margins of an event on “Rights, duties. Europe: 1979-2019” at the Meeting for friendship among peoples in Rimini.

Related:  Spanish theologian blasts "many" priests "who use religion to get power and be important people": "This is intolerable"

The Secretary for Relations with States in the Holy See’s Secretariat of State focused in his talk on the topic of sovereignisms or extremist nationalisms, which he said “have a tendency to close and exclude”.

“If we want to build a strong and united Europe we need opening up, dialogue and collaboration”, Gallagher insisted.

“Pope Francis invites us to pay attention to the dangers inherent in sovereignisms”, the diplomat added.

Context on Novena:

Pope issues plea to “save” Europe from “frightening” populism

Go deeper

On the subject of many Europeans’ dissatisfaction with the current direction in which the European project is going, Gallagher admitted that “we can understand the difficulties and frustrations of many Europeans, but I believe it is important to go back and work on this project to strengthen it, purify it from what is not working, to build it”. 

“Dialogue is the best way to avoid fueling nationalist and Europeanist extremism”, added the Vatican diplomat.

Why it matters

“In the future the European institutions will have to get closer to the people”, Gallagher warned.

Related:  Pope donates 10,000 euros to help families threatened by unemployment in Italy

He said these institutions “will have to reform themselves” to avoid feeding the “disaffection and negative reactions” to the European project currently being felt in the internal politics of sevral member states.

“The Church has no nationalistic visions”, the diplomat concluded.

He added that while the Church “greatly appreciates the love of country… this must be seasoned with a sense of openness to others”.

Next on Novena:

Pope backs this “antidote” to populism, “politics of false prophets”

Related

Share this:

The following two tabs change content below.
Avatar

Cameron Doody

Director and editor at Novena
PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. Lecturer in ethics at Loyola University Maryland, Alcalá de Henares (Spain) campus. Religion journalist with 4 years experience.
Related:  Francis urges "ecological retooling" of economy to counter "inhuman" pace of production, consumption